Novak Djokovic has pledged to ‘give his all’ when he comes up against old foe Rafael Nadal in the final of the Rome Masters on Sunday.
The world number one won two matches on Saturday to progress into the final, first beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in his rain delayed quarterfinal before seeing off Lorenzo Sonego in the semis.
The second of those matches turned out to be a near-three-hour match, with him eventually coming through 6-3, 6-7, 6-2, but he says he hopes to be ready for the final – in which he will be in the unusual position of being the underdog.
“I don’t have much time [to recover], I played a lot of tennis,” Djokovic said.
“Hopefully I’ll have fresh legs, because that’s what I definitely will need. It’s necessary in order to have a chance against Rafa.
“He also had some tough matches, obviously myself, with rain delays and everything that has happened today. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be fresh and I’ll give it all.”
Djokovic was taken to a third set by Sonego despite looking dominant throughout.
He has admitted that was a source of some frustration, although he also wasn’t entirely surprised.
“I have only myself to blame for not closing the match in two sets,” Djokovic said.
“At the end of the day, he is showing why he reached his first [ATP Masters 1000] semi-finals.
“He’s a quality player. [It is] not easy to play against him. Obviously he had the crowd behind him. It was an electric atmosphere out there on the court.”
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